As a Braves fan, I am spoiled when it comes to on air personalities. Skip & Chip Carey, Joe Simpson, and Pete Van Wieren helped to shape my childhood, so much so that I pursued a degree in journalism, and eventually became a reporter. While my time as a reporter was short (thank goodness), my view of radio broadcasters stayed the same.
Funny thing about those four men, however, only Chip has what the industry calls “the voice.” That being said, they each had/have the ability to make listeners “feel” the action, rather than hear it. They each had/have the gift of great storytelling, which always outweighs a talented set of pipes!
I believe this about podcasting as well!
Podcasting can be a great supplement to a blog. However, unlike a blog, not everyone can do it. Why? Well, blogging can be rewritten and proofed over and over, whereas a podcast is usually all one take. This requires a very natural ability to improvise and adapt while on air.
If a podcast is done well, and delivered on a regular (usually weekly) basis, they become huge assets! If not, they simply waste time. So to make life easy for everyone, I have come up with a quick test, to help decide if podcasting is right for you.
1) Can you speak loud and clear without thinking about it?
– As I mentioned before, you don’t have to have “the voice” to be successful, BUT in order for people to follow along, your speech must be easy to understand. If you tend to mumble when you speak, you can try actively projecting when speaking for a few weeks. If this starts to feel natural, then you’re set to go.
2) Can you effectively explain your business to a 10 year old?
– Not everyone listening will have the same grasp of the topics as you. So, put on some “training wheels” and keep the subject matter simple. If you can’t, start by practicing it with friends and family.
3) Are you willing to post a podcast weekly, for a whole year?
– This can be discouraging to some. A year is a long time, and putting out quality content for 52 weeks can be challenging, but building a subscriber base doesn’t happen overnight. If you are serious about podcasting, you have to be willing to commit for the long haul.
Once you have answered these questions, you will need to purchase some equipment. Remember, good audio quality in a podcast is a must, so don’t be cheap. Besides, quality equipment will not only make you sound better, but it will also reduce the work needed in post-production.
Finally, don’t go it alone. Find a friend, or co-worker to play your sidekick. Invite guests, or clients to join as well, because the point of a podcast is to converse about a story. Skip, Chip, Joe, Pete, and many others did this throughout their careers, captivating millions along the way, and if you work at it, so can you.